Strawberry picking is perfect for little kids, because the plants are low to the ground and very accessible for little hands. Pick strawberries at the height of freshness and then freeze for year round use. We put together a map to make finding a strawberry picking farm near you easier! You’ll also find tips for what to bring, how to pick berries, and how to store them once you get home. We hope our guide is helpful and makes your trip even more fun. Grab your sunscreen, hat, buckets, and boots and start your summer off with a juicy treat!
Local Strawberry Farms with U-Pick Strawberries This Summer
The strawberry season usually begins in mid-June and continues for 3–4 weeks, depending on the weather and how many people come to pick. This can vary with weather patterns, so it is best to check with the farm you are planning to visit to find out when they expect to open for the season.
Most farms recommend checking their Facebook page or calling beforehand for more up-to-date information regarding their crops. We have provided the most up-to-date information possible for each farm, but please call ahead or check their site for further information.
Strawberry Picking Map
Where to Pick Strawberries
Blue Clay Berry Farm
5154 State Rd 50
Delavan, WI 53115
- U-Pick opening date is TBD for 2022; the farm estimates the season will begin later than usual and recommends checking back in mid-June
- Check Facebook or call for updates because they periodically close during picking season
19502 River Road
Marengo, IL 60152
- U-Pick opening date is TBD for 2022; the farm estimates mid-June
- Pricing from 2021: $16/4-quart bucket u-pick, $4/quart basket u-pick, $6/quart pre-picked
- 2021 hours: daily from 8:00am – 5:00pm
Garwood Orchards & Farm Markets
5911 West 50 South
La Porte, IN 46350
- Strawberry U-Pick is open as of June 6, 2022. Call or check Facebook for weekly updates.
- Hours: Daily 9:00am – last wagon out at 5:15pm
4779 East 1525th Road
Earlville, IL 60518
- U-Pick opening date: June 9, 2022
- Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
- Pricing: $2.25/pound
- Please note that their website is not being updated; check Facebook for the latest information
Heider’s Berry Farm
1100 North Queen Anne Road
Woodstock, IL 60098
- U-Pick opening date is TBD for 2022, but the farm estimates mid-June
- Pricing from 2021: Strawberries at $14 per 4 quart basket for u-pick; pre-picked rhubarb is $3 per pound.
- 2021 hours: Daily 8:00am – 5:00pm
- Strawberry picking lasts about 3-4 weeks at Heider’s
Johnson’s Farm Produce
8960 East Ridge Road
Hobart, IN 46342
- U-Pick will open on June 11 for the farm’s Strawberry Festival; regular Strawberry U-Pick will open June 13, 2022
- Strawberry Madness Festival every weekend in June with activities.
- Weekday admission is $5/person for U-Pick. Strawberries are sold by the 4qt. bucket (the bucket is provided and charged by the bucket, so fill your bucket!). Last year’s price was $14/bucket. See website for updated U-Pick prices and festival pricing.
- Weekend Festival U-pick $10/general admission, $17/all access admission
- Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:00am – 7:00pm, Sunday 8:00am – 6:00pm
- Call before arrival to be sure strawberries are ripe and still available.
Olive Berry Acres
2575 West Mine Road
Mazon, IL 60444
- U-Pick opened for the season on June 6, 2022
- Check Facebook for regular (usually daily) updates and hours; hours vary by the day and week
- $12/U-Pick 4 quart, $6/U-Pick 2 quart, $3/U-Pick quart
Rosey’s Berry Farm
1066 N 1150 West
Michigan City, IN 46360
- U-Pick opening date is TBD for 2022
Stade’s Farm and Market
3709 West Miller Road
McHenry, IL 60051
- U-Pick opening date is TBD for 2022
- Pricing from 2021: $6 for a 1-quart basket, $12 for 2-quart basket, $18 for a 4-quart basket
- A $6 minimum strawberry purchase per person is required to enter the strawberry patch for ages 3+
- 2021 hours: Daily 8:30am – 5:00pm
Thompson Strawberry Farm
6621 156th Avenue
Bristol, WI 53104
Pre-Picked Location: 14000 75th Street, Bristol, WI
- U-Pick will open sometime during the week of June 13, 2022; check their Facebook and Instagram for an official opening date
- Pricing from 2021: $16 per 4 quart basket (cash only), pick 6 baskets and pay for 5 baskets. Entrance fee: Weekdays $5.00/car, Weekends $10.00/car.
- 2021 hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am – 6:00pm, Saturday-Sunday 8:00am – 4:00pm
Tom’s Farm Market
10214 Algonquin Road
Huntley, IL 60142
- U-Pick opening date is TBD for 2022, but expected in the second half of June
- 2021 hours: Monday through Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm, Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm
As of 2022, Susie’s Garden Patch has decided not to open for U-Pick strawberries.
Planning Your Strawberry Picking Trip
Always call before you go picking to verify hours and crop availability. Ask if the fields are picked over or still have a decent amount of strawberries left to pick. Some fields are picked clean by lunchtime on the weekends! It’s definitely not as fun when the berries are hard to find.
Some farms do not supply containers, while others require that you use their supplied containers. Some farms even offer a discount if you bring your own buckets. Call to check the farm’s policies before you leave.
I also recommend asking when the fields were sprayed. Sometimes, freshly sprayed farms make it less appetizing for sampling as you pick. It’s way more fun, especially for the kids, to pick if you can taste along the way!
Things to Bring Strawberry Picking
Consider the heat and sun while picking. There often aren’t trees around strawberry fields so the berries can receive full sun, which means you will get full sun too! This may mean wearing a hat while picking, wearing sunscreen, and light clothing. You may also want to bring or apply bug spray before going as well.
Pack water, and drink often! You are bent over, crawling on the ground and it is easy to get dizzy in the heat.
Bring a picnic lunch, or at least a snack and blanket to eat on.
Don’t wear nice clothes or shoes. Especially with kids, you almost always get strawberry juice on your clothes. Usually there is straw or mulch between the rows of plants, but depending on how much rain there has been, there could be mud underneath, too. Bring a change of clothes for the kids (and maybe yourself too)!
Strawberry Picking Tips
Unripe berries will not ripen once picked, so pick strawberries that are bright red (no white tips) but pass up the ones that have bruises or are mushy. The size of the strawberry will not affect its sweetness.
Many strawberries ripen under the leaves of the plant, so it helps to gently lift the leaves to look towards the center of the plant.
Strawberries keep better if you pick them with the cap and stem on. Pull the strawberry at the stem with a slight twist and it should come off with the cap and stem. Don’t stress about it too much though because they are still fine without the cap and stem.
When You Get Home
Don’t wash your strawberries until you are ready to eat them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling. Wash in cool water to remove dirt and store in the refrigerator. If you would like to wash some ahead of time to stash in the fridge, prepare a bowl or water with some white vinegar, gently swish the strawberries in the bowl, then drain and rinse with fresh water. The vinegar taste is rinsed off, but the strawberries will store longer.
To freeze your strawberries: wash and hull them (cut off the green part and remove the core), dry them really well by patting them dry or laying them out to dry on your counter. Lay them on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and put in freezer. When completely frozen, transfer them into ziplock bags, removing as much air as you can. Strawberries will be slightly mushier than other frozen fruits when unfrozen, but they are still delicious. Berries can keep for months in the freezer, so don’t hesitate to freeze extras!
For more ways to get out and enjoy the fresh air as a family, check out our outdoor activities page.
We can’t wait to try this…never have. Would you mind sharing a favorite of these? There are so many to choose from!
We have gone to Thompsons and had a good experience there, but I’m considering trying a new place to explore and compare. I’ve definitely learned how important it is to call before going. The two most important things to ask in my opinion are: When is the last time you sprayed? (I don’t feel good about my kids sampling berries as they pick if the fields were just sprayed the day before) and How are the picking conditions? If it’s towards the end of their season there is a good possibility that picking will be frustrating and you will spend more time bending over and searching for berries compared to actually picking. That happened to us last year because we went too late.
Maybe others can chime in too?
Do you happen to know if any of the u-pick have organic strawberries?
Unfortunately we didn’t find any this year.
This is such a great resource, thank you for creating and updating it!